The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

photo of our daffodils at Easter

Our daffodils

I much prefer Easter to Christmas. There isn’t the same pressure, generally the sun is shining and there is true evidence of spring. The daffodils are out, the tulips and bluebells are just a breath away from flowering. The new leaves on the trees are that bright, squeaky clean spring green.

The birds wake me early. Singing to attract a mate for the summer. We have hung fat balls on the rose bush outside the kitchen window and marvel at the succession of birds that visit, wary and fleetingly to feed.

Our pond is full of frog spawn as the annual frog fest has finally run its course. We had the biggest ever turn out this year – there must have been over a hundred frogs in the pond. Where do the frogs go after there amorous frolics? Hopefully the majority stay in our garden to eat the greedy slugs and snails.

One of our colonies of bees survived the winter. We will split this colony into two using a Snelgrove board. This year we are going to pull all stops out to manage our hives. Suddenly our beekeeping has to move from a hobby to another stream of income. Properly labelled it is legal to sell our honey on the gate side stand. We are going for comb honey as it is so difficult to get hold of so sells for a premium. I will be using this excellent free software resource to help me manage our small apiary.

Seraphina is hosting Easter lunch today. She will serve lamb – traditional for Easter in our family. With home made mint sauce – Seraphina’s mint grows really well in a pot beside her French windows. Sob.

The flowering shrubs that we used for our Easter tree are gradually opening but the beech twigs are still dozing.

Danny has lots of his favourite chocolate to scoff and I have more ranunculus bulbs for the garden. Perfect.

Happy Easter everyone.


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19 Comments

  1. darren64

    got my bees today,my mum rang me,and said “there’s a load of bees swarming round my pond”so I went round and they were clustered together on a post in a bush,I rang my aunt who is a beekeeper,and she came and helped me remove it,so it is now in its new home in my hive.what are the chances of my mum having a swarm in her garden as I’m waiting for my first collony?.

  2. Jean D

    The best part of Easter for me was the look on my daughter’s face when I gave her her Easter Eggs. The look on her 26 year old face was worth the cost of the eggs, we had decided this year to be more frugal, cut costs, grow more of our own veggies (me grow “our veggies”, she lives in a flat). She wasn’t expecting any eggs, but some things never change.

    I hope everything at Cottage Smallholder is OK.

  3. Heather

    I couldn’t agree more. I live in Sydney and just love this time of year (Autumn for us). The weather has cooled down, there’s still an excuse to eat and prepare festive food, but there isn’t all the rushing round that there is at Christmas.

  4. Shereen

    Happy Easter, Fiona.

    I thought of you today as I picked the little flies off my windowsill mint. I’ve no idea where they’re coming from and the windowsill rosemary, sage and thyme are all perfectly happy and fly-free.

  5. Jo@LittleFfarm Dairy

    BTW where are those green leaves you mentioned? We certainly haven’t got any, here…!

  6. Happy Easter.
    I too have a pond full of frog spawn and amorous frogs – not so much croaking going on now though, I guess they’ve finished! Last year I seem to remember we had “round 2” after a while too, so maybe it’s not totally finished yet!

  7. kate (uk)

    Happy Easter!
    House of plague again here, but chocolate is supposed to be good for coughs.
    Our bees have woken, I wonder just how much honey is up in the chimney…no hope of getting them out of there as it is about 40ft tall and they live right at the top…

  8. casalba

    Happy Easter to you too.

  9. Hi Fiona
    Thanks for the link to Beetight, it looks really useful. I’m in my second season with two hives I really need a better record system than scribbled notes on a pad, as I’m thinking of increasing to three by artificially swarming this year. I hope all goes well with your bees and you get lots of honey to sell!

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